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Coffee Beans*

3 Aug

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Last weekend I had Coffee & Macaron Making Master Course, day 1. One of my students who was back on holiday from Australia (yes, my students are international ^^*!), has kindly bought me some coffee beans from where she lives – in Melbourne. The shop name is called Seven Seeds and seems to be handling various types of coffee beans / Specialty coffee beans. They roast themselves too!

 

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The packaging and the cards that were slipped together explained how much they care about the beans they carry and the passion to transfer their thoughts to consumers. I like that! The one I had was Seven Seeds Espresso Blend, and beans were from Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Colombia and Brazil. Taste like: Plum, Raspberry, Caramel (according to their notes).

 

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During the class, I shared beans that I got from from Jason BSC – Brazil Santos, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Kenya AA, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia Mandheling, and Guatemala Antigua. These are more commercial beans and it’s good to compare how different region beans taste differently. Each bean has different characteristics, and you can tell such characters the most when you actually brew them together. We also tasted above Specialty coffee in Hario hand-pouring, although the beans are suited for espresso based drink.

The coffee and cafe culture in Malaysia is expanding in the last couple of years, and I feel that we have more options and luxury to choose our coffee. We are lucky to see this with our eyes, and I hope that the industry will grow more in the future!

 

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And I wish to visit Australia Melbourne one day!

Thanks for your sharing ^^.

 

Cheers,

Tomoko

 

 

Croisserie*

1 Dec

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It’s been a while since I updated my blog! Thanks for visiting my blog all the while. And for my dearest students, I regret to inform you that I won’t be starting class yet… it will be in 2016. Thanks for your support and hope to update you on that matter again!

By the way, I recently found a very nice bakery – Croisserie, and have been going there a couple of times.

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They bake breads such as croissant, various types of danish and donuts, as well as some hard breads and even bagels. The shop looks to be French style but they also have some Japanese style breads such as “melon pan” and “anpan (red bean bun)”.

I especially like their Apple danish and Croissant au d’amande. It’s so00 heavenly yummy…^^

Their pastries look great, too!

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I tried their Chocolate tart and Mont Blanc which is their special menu just for the events. It tasted great! I could tell they use good ingredients. Their creme patissiere (custard cream) which is why croissant au d’amande and apple danish taste very nice.

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They have a shop in Plaza Damansara (shop lot) and has second branch in newly opened PJ Atrial Mall. So whoever haven’t visited yet, try them out^^!

 

Cheers,

Tomoko

 

 

Specialty Coffee Shops in Tokyo! vol.2

26 Sep

Bear Pond Espresso @ Shibuya

Located right in the heart of Shibuya,  Bear Pond Espressois also worth visiting. It’s not really a Specialty coffee bean place but is specialized in espresso.

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The photo is not allowed inside the shop, so I show you the outside^^. We ordered their Espresso and Cappuccino for take away. It was really nice! The coffee was freshly roasted at their shop so we bought back a packet of beans as well!

I have been making lattes with their house blend in my home espresso machine and it taste very nice, well grounded, fruity and not too bitter:)

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Sarutahiko Coffee @ Ebisu

Ebisu, 1 stop away from Shibuya on train, there is this another excellent coffee shop called Sarutahiko Coffee.

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This shop is very small with a few tables and high chairs, and my family could barely fit in… (my husband had to carry our son on carrier while I squeezed in one person space with my daughter), but their service and coffee was excellent that everything was alright! We went on a rainy day and the shop lady helped us put the stroller outside and fold the umbrella. I know that Japanese hospitality is quite good, but this shop was beyond our expectations. I bet regulars come back because of this.


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Like these two senior men.

Excuse me on this photo shot, but I couldn’t help taking them because it was such a heart warming scene of two men, one with a retro hat, chit-chatting over a cup of coffee before they start the day. Sometimes the customers add the scenes to the coffee shop and makes the whole experience nice and memorable.

We ordered their specialty Iced coffee in hand-dripping style. You can see the pour over tools in front of the man in the second photo. Their house roast is rather dark and is suited for iced coffee and it was really nice!

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We visited a couple more coffee shops but these are the Specialty Coffee Shops we went. I enjoyed the beans we brought back from Japan, and some with my students! I hope to visit back some of the shop and other coffee shops in my next Japan trip!

Thank you for always visiting my blog & Have a great weekend!

 

 

Specialty Coffee Shops in Tokyo! vol.1

25 Sep

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Speaking of Specialty coffee, I would like to introduce some of the coffee shops I visited in my last Japan trip!

 

The Roastery @ Omotesando (Harajuku)

 

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First is The Roastery in Harajuku, Tokyo.

Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya areas are known to have nice cafes and coffee shops. Many popular pancake shops are also located here and recently, Magnolia Bakery, the famous NY cupcake shop, opened their first branch in Japan as well! It’s a trendy and hot spot for the cafe lovers!

The Roastery is located in one of the small stretch of road that leads from Omotesando Harajuku to Shibuya.

 

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The shop reminds us of some cozy cafes in the west coast of the U.S., and being part of a large restaurant & cafe group, it’s quite spacious for a cafe in Tokyo.

 

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They serve New York Ring here! It’s a donuts made from croissant dough and is popular as ‘cronuts’ in the U.S.!

Their coffee menu is quite simple and you choose from Americano, Espresso and Cappuccino from the two types of coffee beans. They change the beans on a weekly basis, more or less. The beans are roasted in the shop itself, as you can see from the first photo, and they share the same Specialty coffee beans with NOZY coffee, another famous coffee shop in Tokyo.

 

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We tried their cappuccino and espresso, together with the N.Y. Ring! The espresso had a very powerful flavor, and even with cappuccino where normally milk makes the coffee tastes blend, I could feel the strong characteristics of the Specialty coffee beans. We liked the coffee beans so much that we bought back a few packets of COE and Specialty coffee beans that were available in the shop. Price range from JPY1,200/200g to JPY1,800/200g (RM40-RM70).

As for their Americano, they were using French Press and not hand-dripping (pour over) style.

 

Coutume @ Omotesando (Aoyama)

Just 10 minutes walk from The Roastery, in same Omotesando (Aoyama) area, we found another Specialty Coffee shop called Coutume. This shop, which is newly opened in April 2014, is a Paris found cafe. It has various kinds of coffee but especially specializes in French Press.

 

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Look at this French Press machine! It is completely computerized and looks very stylish!

I honestly don’t appreciate French press as much as the hand dripping style, but some people say that French press can extract the nice coffee oil which the hand dripping will take away from using filter paper.

 

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In contrast with the wooden feel of previous cafe, The Roastery, Coutume was a bright and white stylish cafe! Fashionable like Paris!

 

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Even the way they serve was cute and stylish, with some details of the coffee bean explained in the transparent cube that came along with the coffee.

 

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We ordered their specialty French press hot and ice coffee. My friend ordered their Pour over coffee and it was served in this cute glass pot.

 

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Overall we had a good experience! My husband liked the modern and minimalist design and of course the automated French press machine was very impressive! Ok, I will talk about other cafes in my next post! Have a good day!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

 

 

BEAM @ Sri Damansara

23 Sep

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The other day, I had a chance to visit a cafe called BEAM at Sri Damansara, thanks to my dear student who recommended me of this newly opened shop! It opened in end of July. I wouldn’t have known of this shop otherwise because the coffee and cafe business in Malaysia is expanding vast in the last couple of years. (My student has joined our coffee & macaron master course, by the way. I am glad to be sharing such information with students lately^^…)

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As soon as I entered the cafe, I immediately liked this spacious yet cozy ambience. It seemed that this shop lot was a former warehouse, thus the table and chairs were displayed spaciously and had couple of areas in theme. This corner close to the door caught my eye as I entered, and before I even checked their menu I was impressed by how various coffee items and tools they carry for sale. They had the same kettle, coffee filter, syphon machine and others that I have, and they also had some unique coffee tools. I even found two sets of water-dripping machine on the high table (this was of course not for sale).

And then we came to the counter to order our coffee.

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Specialty coffee and… Kopi O?

First, I was surprised that they handle Specialty coffee beans here, which is still quite new and difficult to find in Malaysia. Then I was surprised that they also serve the local coffee as well because normally those two do not exist together in the same cafe. But soon after we order our Macchiato and Hand-drip Specialty Coffee (Papua New Guinea bean), the man who made us a hand-drip coffee explained to us all.


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It seems like this cafe was built by a coffee wholesale company who has been supplying local and Arabica coffee beans, and now Specialty coffee beans, to cafes and coffee shops in Malaysia since 70’s.

No wonder!

That explains why they have so much knowledge and sources of coffee beans, not only the local beans but also the other kinds. When he mentioned, “We made this cafe to educate people on Speciality coffee beans”, I was clapping hands in my mind(!) because I was just trying to teach my coffee & macaron course graduates what Specialty coffee beans are and how good the tastes are through my Specialty Coffee class.

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He poured the coffee carefully and steadily… very similar to how I make mine, but slower and with more using his whole body.

He gave us a nice and informative talk. Thanks!

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Specialty coffee beans are rather limited and hard to get, and in Japan it costs about RM70/200 gram. But now you can get here in Malaysia with around RM28/150gram!

They had various raw beans and a roaster which if we request they will roast for you (it takes about 20-30 minutes) at the shop. Their main roaster factory seem to be just around the corner from this cafe.

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Specialty coffee beans are picked carefully so it normally indicates details such as farmer, altitude, the way they dry the beans and the aroma you can taste from each beans. After we carefully looked at the list of beans here, we bought back a packet of Tanzania Specialty coffee beans (Tembo Farm), which was roasted only 2 days ago in their factory.

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After we went back home, we straight away made a coffee from this bean. It was really fresh and had a nice fruity flavor…

I really enjoyed the experience there, and although it’s a little bit far from my house, I cannot wait to go back there!

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Thank you for always visiting my blog ^^!

Haikara Style Cafe @ Subang

24 May

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Today was a Wesak Holiday, so I decided to have a nice lunch with my family at Haikara Style Cafe in Subang! I’ve heard about this cafe many times but never had a chance to go there, so today was a perfect day to visit!

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It was a very cozy cafe with many Japanese retro style items around (Haikara means something like retro, nostalgic, etc.) and even the menu was really like what we could expect in Japanese traditional cafe. I actually didn’t know that the owner was Japanese, but as I was looking at their menu and also tasted their coffee and food, I confirmed this shop must be run by Japanese owners. (For instance, red color daruma doll on the right top of the cabinet is our historical doll to wish for yearly success and fortune. We color one of the eye into black at the beginning of the year, and we color the other eye when the year ends without any trouble. This kind of culture cannot be easily transferred if you are not Japanese!)

Anyway, we got to meet the owner lady at the end of our stay and found out that the cafe was run by Japanese couple and it’s 6 years old.

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This is Nanban chicken salad I ordered. My husband ordered Beef stew. They were both delicious!

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We also ordered their specialty syphon coffee with Tanzania beans. It was really rich in aroma!

I saw many people, friends and family enjoying their holiday afternoon. The cafe was personal and I really liked it. I wish to visit there again!!!

Grandeur Gallery Cafe @ Kota Kemuning

26 Apr

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The other day, one of my students took me to some nice cafe in kota kemuning. I love drinking coffee so although I am now 5 months pregnant and refraining from drinking coffee & tea, I took this opportunity to spend some time in cafe.

The cafe was called Grandeur Gallery Cafe. It was a cozy cafe with owner (she is barista) welcoming you and dripping coffee for you. We went there on Thursday afternoon, so the cafe was rather quiet and peaceful.

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We ordered Cappucino and Cafe macchiato as this place was specialized in coffee. And since we were hungry after the class, we ordered some pasta as well. They have couple of choices of food menu and also desserts!

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Here is inside view of the shop. The shop has gallery corner as of its name.

It’s quite interesting and also encouraging for me to see those small scale unique cafes in Malaysia. I hope to explore some more cafes in future!

By the way, I will be going back to Japan from this Sunday till May 10th. During my absence, the shop will be closed on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays but will still be opened from Wednesday-Saturday (Shop open date: May 1st~4th & May 8th onwards). So if you have anything to inquire, please feel free to come by. Thanks and see you back soon!!!